Posts tagged ‘Howard nemerov’

August 25, 2013

Starting School (Annual Repost) — Two by Nemerov and One by Hadas

It is that time of year again.  Below I have cut and pasted portions of the posts I made for the first day of school over the last couple of years:

Howard Nemerov — about whom I wrote in an earlier post — wrote moving and insightful poems about the subject of starting school.  September, The First Day Of School is no less touching in our era of August school starts, and manages a careful balance of sentiment, intellect, hope, and resignation that makes the poem unerringly resonant to me.  A colleague and friend, Kate Gallagher, introduced me to the poem years ago, and I think of it every year when preparing for a new group of kindergarteners or first graders.  To David, About His Education is just as moving to me — increasingly so, as my daughters make their way towards adulthood.

The Red Hat by Rachel Hadas is one of my favorite school-related poems, and it is one that all parents can relate to.  Though it doesn’t exactly describe the first day of school, it captures the mood and emotion that often accompanies the first day.  The poem also exemplifies Hadas’ subtle, confident command of form.

For everyone heading into a new school year this, last, or next week, I wish you a good start and a good year.

September, The First Day Of School by Howard Nemerov (from AllPoetry.com)

To David, About His Education by Howard Nemerov (from The Poetry Foundation)

The Red Hat by Rachel Hadas (from an assumption.edu user site)
(I neither condemn nor endorse the analysis of the poem in the link below — I have not read it.  I am using the link because it is the best presentation of the poem I could find on-line.)

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August 28, 2011

Starting School — Two Poems by Howard Nemerov

Tomorrow is the first day of school in the district where I teach kindergarten and first grade.  My wife also greets her fourth graders for the first time tomorrow in a different district.  Our daughters, entering the eighth and eleventh grades, begin on Tuesday.  So the beginning of the school year is an important annual event in our family, as it is for most families.

Howard Nemerov — about whom I wrote in an earlier post — wrote moving and insightful poems about the subject of starting school.  September, The First Day Of School is no less touching in our era of August school starts, and manages a careful balance of sentiment, intellect, hope, and resignation that makes the poem unerringly resonant to me.  A colleague and friend, Kate Gallagher, introduced me to the poem years ago, and I think of it every year when preparing for a new group of kindergarteners or first graders.  To David, About His Education is just as moving to me — increasingly so, as my daughters make their way towards adulthood.

For everyone heading into a new school year this, last, or next week, I wish you a good start and a good year.

September, The First Day Of School by Howard Nemerov (from AllPoetry.com)

To David, About His Education by Howard Nemerov (from The Poetry Foundation)

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July 5, 2011

“Found Poem” by Howard Nemerov

I read somewhere that former U. S. Poet Laureate Howard Nemerov died of cancer ten years ago today.  Nemerov was enough of a master formal technician that one of the leading competitions in formal poetry — the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award — is named after him.  But he also was able to employ metered lines in subtle ways that elevate the tension of a poem without calling attention away from the content.  “Found Poem” is a deft example of this, and a favorite of mine.

Found Poem by Howard Nemerov (from the Academy of American Poets)

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